Love's Executioner Love's Executioner

Love's Executioner

& Other Tales of Psychotherapy

    • 4.0 • 5 Ratings
    • $16.99
    • $16.99

Publisher Description


An “utterly absorbing” collection of ten classic tales from the therapist’s chair by renowned psychiatrist and best-selling author Irvin D. Yalom (Newsday)

Why was Saul tormented by three unopened letters from Stockholm? What made Thelma spend her whole life raking over a long-past love affair? How did Carlos's macho fantasies help him deal with terminal cancer?

In this engrossing book, Irvin Yalom gives detailed and deeply affecting accounts of his work with these and seven other patients. Deep down, all of them were suffering from the basic human anxieties—isolation, fear of death or freedom, a sense of the meaninglessness of life—that none of us can escape completely. And yet, as the case histories make touchingly clear, it is only by facing such anxieties head on that we can hope to come to terms with them and develop. Throughout, Dr. Yalom remains refreshingly frank about his own errors and prejudices; his book provides a rare glimpse into the consulting room of a master therapist.

Health, Mind & Body
June 5
Basic Books
Hachette Digital, Inc.

Customer Reviews

WhitestCrow ,

Great Book

I as natural scientist, enjoyed reading this book. It reflects the reality of people’s obsession, hate and love in every day’s life.
Good book for outsiders of therapy or psychology field. It definitely worth reading it.

Lkjhgluyce ,


I had intended to read this book for decades, as a Counseling Psychology professor: I had heard my doctoral students rave about it. So I expected to love it. Instead I often found it very irritating: I found Yalom’s style a confusing mixture of narcissistic over-self-assurance and modest admission of his own past therapeutic mistakes. I very much appreciated the latter (and give him credit for being willing to share them). But I found his sureness that he always knew exactly what was happening in the client or what their dreams meant, etc., somewhat alarming. I believe that over-self-assurance is a dangerous characteristic in a therapist and I worry that Yalom had an abundance of it. Second, his sexualization of all of his women clients was extremely irritating to me and to my students. I realize he was a product of his age and when he wrote this 30 years ago it might have been seen as reasonable (to male readers at least) for a man to be thinking sexualized thoughts about all of his female clients (and likely all women everywhere in his life) but these days (2018) his insistence on seeing women as sexual objects for his own interest and pleasure is galling to say the least. I made the mistake of choosing this as a text for a practicum class I was teaching without reading it myself beforehand. I thought Yalom’s and the book’s reputations were enough for that to be a safe bet. It was not. I would not use the book as a text again. I used it as a way to spark class discussion of (I had hoped) therapeutic issues. But mostly the discussions sparked were about irritation at Yalom’s sexualization of women. Even his afterword, written in 2012, in which he (thank heavens) expressed deep regret about his attitudes toward fat women, ended disappointingly: in his afterword he crowed that in the end he could reach his arms all the way around her. Thus, his pride in his work with her was still stuck, infuriatingly, in judgments about her size. It is a fascinating page-turner. And it is a wonderful look inside the therapist’s head—to get a glimpse of what the experience of being a therapist is like. And it has enough self-recrimination about therapeutic errors to give over-confident neophite therapists pause. But is datedness in its attitudes toward women is too much for me: I would look for another book to spark class discussions.

More Books by Irvin D. Yalom

Staring at the Sun Staring at the Sun
Becoming Myself Becoming Myself
When Nietzsche Wept When Nietzsche Wept
The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy
The Spinoza Problem The Spinoza Problem
Creatures of a Day Creatures of a Day

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